10 March, 2014 in Music Reviews
On ‘May You Marry Rich’, Colormusic continue their desire to bring colour to music, taking this as their ‘purple’ album
t’s said that musical influence is all relative. Putting this theory into practice are Oklahoma four-piece Colormusic , who count the work of scientist and philosopher Sir Isaac Newton as one of their many influences. Taking cue from Newton’s Theory of Colour and Sound, they visually associate the sounds and melodies of their music with individual colours. So far releases include the Red EP, a Yellow EP and debut album My _____ Is Pink.
Their new album May You Marry Rich is described by founding member Ryan Hendrix as their “purple album”. Upon hearing the album though, the bands dark washes of sound provoke a lot more than just aural shades.
Dreamgirl ’82 grinds with an offbeat electronic bass that lurks under the surface – an album trait – and really launches the wall of sound after the somewhat lightweight opener The Duchess. Lyrically its theme is the relationship we have with ourselves while having a relationship with another.
This theme returns on track four Silvertape, a track that contemplates the sacrifices made during marriage (“I won’t hold you back when I hold you down”). Musically, the wash of reverb and dreamy harmonies make it just one of the tracks that call to mind My Bloody Valentine or The Jesus And Mary Chain. Satyricon is built around the sort tribal drum beat that Portishead have often used as the foundation for their atmospheric trip-hop; it gnaws away while a kaleidoscope of sound drifts above it.
Other than titans of the 80s shoegaze and 90s trip-hop scenes, the murky bass and reverb heavy vocals suggest an affinity with newer bands like Toy and The Horrors. Indeed, the album could be compared to the sound of Uncle’s War Stories, though perhaps adding even finer detail.
Snake in the Mouth – another claustrophobic number – closes by breaking down thrillingly. Object, not for the first time, finds a clean guitar line picked out of the wash of sound. Horse Race is like Klaxons at their best, though compared to their recent output perhaps packs more of a punch.
Album closer Idiot has a more obvious reference point. Hendrix describes it as his homage to Iggy Pop’s 1977 debut solo album The Idiot, though that LP had already heavily informed much of what’s come before. For Hendrix it is “one of the most unashamedly ugly records ever; it uses synthesizers in a brutal way.” For two and half minutes, Colormusic’s tribute does the same, until a voice falls out of the layers of noise and joins the reign of sound.
Like their psychedelic and shoe-gaze influences Colormusic have a big sound made to blissfully drift off inside. Yet these layered songs – filled with fascinating bits of disconnected noise and liable to veer off in all manner of directions – have much to their composition. Heard as once piece, May You Marry Rich is an album to get lost in.
Verdict: Iggy Pop rips through a shoegaze cloud